Could a cash crunch crush the Mike Pence campaign?

Pence AP Iowa
Money is running short for the former Vice President. Will he stick it out nonetheless?

With three months to go before the Iowa caucuses that he has staked his campaign on, former Vice President Mike Pence faces mounting debt and lagging poll numbers that are forcing questions about not only whether he will qualify for the next debate, but whether it makes sense for him to remain in the race until then.

Pence ended September with just $1.18 million left in his campaign account, a strikingly low number for a presidential contest and far less than his rivals, new filings show. His campaign also has $621,000 in debt — more than half the cash he had remaining — and is scrambling to meet donor thresholds for the Nov. 8 debate. While he would likely meet the debate’s polling requirements, Pence has struggled to gain traction and is polling in the low single digits nationally, with no sign of momentum.

Former President Donald Trump, meanwhile, is leading every one of his rivals by at least 40 points in national polls and ended September with $37.5 million on hand.

People close to Pence say he now faces a choice about how long to stay in the race and whether remaining a candidate might potentially diminish his long-term standing in the party, given Trump’s dominating lead. While Pence could stick it out until the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses, visiting the state’s famous Pizza Ranch restaurants and campaigning on a shoestring budget, he must now weigh how that will impact his desire to remain a leading conservative voice, according to the people, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to share their unvarnished views.

Pence, for the moment, is pressing forward. He held a Newsmax town hall in Iowa Tuesday night and fundraisers this week in Cleveland, Philadelphia and Dallas. He was to speak at the Republican National Committee’s fall retreat Friday night and at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas next week — all opportunities to pitch deep-pocketed donors to keep his campaign afloat.

The super PAC supporting Pence is also continuing its efforts, fundraising and conducting extensive voter outreach, including knocking on nearly 600,000 doors and counting.

The campaign is also working aggressively to reach the 70,000-donor threshold needed to qualify for next month’s debate and expressed confidence they could get there if they try — even as others remain skeptical he can make it.

Still, some in Pence’s orbit believe he has important contributions left to make in the primary, particularly after the Hamas attack on Israel pushed foreign policy to the forefront. Pence has argued he is the most qualified candidate to deal with issues abroad, saying in the August debate that “now is not the time for on-the-job training.”

Pence, they say, feels a renewed sense of purpose given his warnings throughout the campaign against the growing tide of isolationism in the Republican Party. Pence has used the conflict to decry “voices of appeasement,” which he argues embolden groups like Hamas.

Another person cautioned that Pence, a devout Evangelical Christian who sees the campaign as a calling, may respond differently than other candidates might in his position if he feels called to stay in the race.

If he decides to exit, Pence would have a potential platform in Advancing American Freedom, the conservative think tank he founded after leaving the vice presidency.

Associated Press


  • My Take

    October 21, 2023 at 8:39 pm

    Pray for it.
    Maybe it will fall like manna from Heaven.

  • Earl Pitts "Political Advisor" American

    October 21, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    Good evening America,
    Sigh …. I, Earl Pitts American, feel kinda sad now. Early on Mike paid me $300,000. to advise him in his decision to either run or not run. I told him not to do it, as in my opinion, he had no shot at warming the hearts of the public to get the votes needed.
    Sigh …. yeah I kept the money. People really should listen more to Earl Pitts American ya know.
    Earl Pitts “Advice Aint Cheap” American

    • rick whitaker

      October 23, 2023 at 6:04 am


  • rick whitaker

    October 23, 2023 at 6:06 am

    pence is too christian to be let anywhere near a political office

Comments are closed.


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